Photo: Duncan, Graham, Lotte, Finn and Grant at The Gathering 2016
It was my first trip to Germany, which was exciting; I flew from Denver into Frankfurt, and then took a train to Cologne, which was brilliant.
Cologne was rainy in March 2016, but beautiful nonetheless. This photo was taken from my taxi, on the way to the hotel. The famous Cologne Cathedral is on the left.
Here is a shot taken from the top of the cathedral the next day when a group of fans went on a tour of the cathedral with Graham and Lotte.
Here is Graham with a group of fans, learning about the cathedral.
Lotte in front of the cathedral
Photo: Lotte’s Twitter account
I stayed at the Mercure hotel in Cologne, which adjoins with the venue. The room was nice and quiet, and the hotel had good service and good food.
It was a long travel “day” and I was happy to finally go to sleep Thursday night.
(For you book preservationists, I bought this mini sized DIA at a used bookstore, knowing it would have to endure the wear and tear of mucho travel 😬)
On Friday, I poked around town near the hotel, relaxed, and drank lots of coffee 😴
Registration was at 4:00PM, and we got our welcome packets. We were able to sign up for extra sessions and events then too.
I ran into some Twitter acquaintances in line and we introduced ourselves, which was nice. Lots of souvenirs and Scottish wares were on sale in the main lobby.
Here’s a look at my welcome packet– it contained a badge, a lanyard, chapstick, and tickets for each activity that was included with the my package. There was also a folder provided in which to keep photos and autographs.
I’d signed up for a dinner out with Graham, so Friday evening a group of us met in the lobby and headed over by metro to a pub.
We (collectively) chatted for a couple of hours about kids, some of Graham’s Outlander experiences, what he’d wanted to be when he grew up, his Outlander casting, etc. We had delicious beer, and I had my first Schnitzel in Germany (Graham had the same thing). It was a really nice evening.
After dinner, a group of us went over to a friend’s house and had lots of laughs. We’d communicated on Twitter for some time, and it was so fun to meet and hang out in person. I stayed up waaaaay too late for a person with jet lag, but I wouldn’t trade it!
Saturday morning we gathered in the main hall…
for a brief introduction and panel with the actors who were present; Annette Badland had to work and arrived the next day. Here’s a shot of everyone: Graham, Duncan, Grant, Finn, and Lotte. Sam was originally scheduled to be there, but had a conflict and had to cancel. I was disappointed at first (of course), but ended up having a fantastic time anyway.
After that, we lined up for our first photos with Graham and Duncan. The photo you get is great, but my favorite part was getting to meet all the guys and have a brief one-on-one convo. They were troopers, so gracious and welcoming to everyone, and fun. Duncan is a snuggler! Here is a wee video of those photo sessions. I love how genuinely excited Graham is to see this adorable “Mrs. Fitz” (right after posing with Black Jack Randall!) In case you can’t hear him, he’s saying “Look! It’s Mrs. Fitz, Duncan!” So cute.
Here are my shots with Graham and Duncan from that session. It does feel a bit like a prom picture! 😀 😂
There were panels throughout both days with different combinations of actors. During these, you’re free to take photos, which we all did, and members of the audience asked questions too. In between panels and photo sessions were autographs- another nice chance to chat with each actor.
Here is a sweet little interaction between Graham and a fan…
Later that day, there was a whisky tasting, during which Claire on her wedding day, a druid, Mrs. Fitz, and Black Jack Randall all companionably shared a drink (along with several other tables of fans). I’m told the whisky tasting was quite fun, although I did not attend.
To Be Continued…